Last month, the NHL might’ve taken steps to try to reduce the number of games decided by the shootout by introducing three-on-three overtime, however commissioner Gary Bettman remains steadfast in keeping the deciding skills competition.
“I think to the extent some people wanted to see fewer shootouts, this will get us there, and that’s fine. The shootout isn’t going anywhere,” Bettman told the Boston Globe.
“You go to a building during a shootout, everybody’s on their feet, nobody is leaving, which is what it was designed to do. It’s exciting, it’s fun, it’s entertaining, and so if we’re going to try and reduce the number of shootouts, this may do it.”
The league’s board of governors in late-June approved three-on-three overtime for the full five minutes of the extra period, opting not to use the AHL method, which was to begin OT at four-on-four before moving to three-on-three if there was no winner decided after three minutes.
With the three-on-three method, the AHL saw 75 per cent of games that went beyond regulation time decided in overtime, which was a substantial increase from the previous season, according to NHL.com.
Still, the shootout remains a polarizing way to decide a winner and loser in the NHL. While its been blasted in the past by coaches — John Tortorella hates the shootout — and executives, Bettman has maintained that fans like the shootout.